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New funding is available for scientists with research proposals focusing on conservation of dolphins and porpoises. 

The IWC Small Cetaceans Voluntary Fund (SCVF) has launched its fourth call for tenders thanks to generous contributions from IWC member governments and non-governmental organisations.  The SCVF was established in 2009 and has so far funded projects involving more than twenty countries and some of the most threatened species and populations.

Applications are assessed by a panel of experts against clearly defined criteria.  As well as a high quality research application and clearly demonstrated conservation need, applicants must show the link between their proposed research and tangible conservation outcomes. An emphasis on regional co-operation and scope for a capacity-building legacy are also valued factors, and preference is given to projects inline with previously established priority topics and recommendations of the IWC.

A total fund of £50,000 is available and there are two funding tiers: small grants of up to £5,000 and larger grants to a maximum of £20,000.  Donors have also earmarked £2000 for projects focused on Latin American species or issues, and £750 for projects that contribute to the Small Cetacean Task Team work.

Projects completed so far prove just how much can be achieved with relatively small sums of money.  The nature of these achievements varies hugely, from the introduction of standardised post-mortem methodologies and new, region-wide population estimates, to a conservation-awareness raising song writing competition and pop video.   There is also variety in terms of species and region.  Projects have focused on many vulnerable populations and spread around the world from The Solomon Islands and Madagascar, to Mexico and Gabon. 

The closing date for 2021 applications is 00.01 on 19th March - 11GMT. 

To apply for funds click here.

To read more about the Small Cetaceans Voluntary Fund click here.